Low magnesium and atherosclerosis: an evidence-based link

Mol Aspects Med. Feb-Jun 2003;24(1-3):137-46. doi: 10.1016/s0098-2997(02)00095-x.


Several data indicate that magnesium deficiency caused by poor diet and/or errors in its metabolism may be a missing link between diverse cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis. Experimentally induced low plasma levels of magnesium accelerate atherogenesis by increasing LDL concentrations and their oxidative modifications, and by promoting inflammation. In vitro studies have shown that low magnesium determines endothelial dysfunction, the initiating event leading to the formation of the plaque. Moreover, oral magnesium therapy has been shown to improve endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease.Magnesium, which is an inexpensive, natural and rather safe element, could be useful in preventing atherosclerosis and as an adjuvant therapy in patients with clinical manifestations of the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Diet*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors


  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Magnesium